Luisa Beccaria, the Milanese designer, stood recently at Linda Dresner’s Park Avenue boutique during her trunk show, rearranging clothes on the hanger, pulling out appropriate styles for shoppers and ruminating on the art of wearing the peasant blouse.
One petite blonde was perplexed as to what to wear underneath a sheer, floral top. “A nude bra,” said Beccaria. When the woman said that was precisely what she was wearing, Beccaria replied simply, “it’s too brown.”
Beccaria’s designs are romantic, with fabrics that range from lace and silk chiffons to light tweeds. There are lots of hand-worked details, including printed silk linings, handmade buttons and petticoats edged in grosgrain ribbon. One standout was a Limoges-inspired floral pattern used to both trim and line a jacket.
“We like the collection very much due to its refinement and couture elegance, which is evident in the details and fabric choices,” said Linda Dresner, owner of Linda Dresner stores in New York and Birmingham, Mich. “It has a special, old-world, European elegance, which is very much who Luisa is anyway. She, herself, is an inspiration because of her refined, but bohemian style. Meeting her and seeing her in the clothes gives women the confidence to wear them in the way she does, which is very original.” Dresner said Beccaria sold $54,000 during the two-day trunk show.
Beccaria, never one to bow to trendy high jinks, sees women’s clothing tastes evolving. “Women have been bound to designer labels for a while now, but I think now, they are looking for individual clothes with a message, not just a brand anymore,” said Beccaria. “They want special pieces. There is no more of this clinging to uniforms. Women have become more confident and in turn more individual.”
Retail prices range from $1,000 to $3,800 for dresses, $450 to $1,300 for skirts and $380 to $600 for blouses. Beccaria’s collection is also carried by Barneys New York, Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman.
By the way, the petite blonde ordered $6,000 worth of Luisa Beccaria clothes.